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WraithVerge

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Everything posted by WraithVerge

  1. Okay, by the numbers Retread! :D, 1) Humidity CAN play a factor in paint application, especially if you're using clearcoat. I suggest an ac that removes humidity from the air (like the more recent ones out lately.) Barring that, wait until a nice sunny day and open the windows. This should also help in the ventillation. 2) Retouch markers are good for retouching, but trying to paint an entire one with a marker is going to look kinda cruddy, due to the inevitable streak marks.A lot of car parts ARE plastic nowadays, so I wouldn't worry too much about that (just in case, test on a scrap piece first for compatibility!); and detailling should be just fine as long as the paint won't run, sag or rub off. In any event, I suggest finding the small retouching spray cans of that color at a good automotive shop like autozone. most colors are to federal paint chip standards, so just record the name and number, and you should have no problems locating the right color. 3) For reshells, it can be a bit of guesswork. The method I use is making a copy of the instructions of the vehicle mode from a side view for both the alt and the donor shell. (both to scale!) That can solve a lot of problems. Also, general estimating about size and shape can help, but I'd be a bit more concerned about what will hapen to shell parts during the transform process. Planning is essential in this phase; proceed slowly and don't be afraid to measure and remeasure before cutting ANY plastic. 4) Glued parts? Not really to my knowledge, although that would largely depend upon the alternator in question. I would try working the part free before using any strong chemical removers. If that fails, start with good ol' rubbing alcohol, and work from there. Now for specifics: 1)If it's something that is required for structural stability, glue it just in case. Parts often have a very nasty habit of popping off after a fall or other unforseen incident, and becoming lost forever. Then it turns out that piece just so happens to be the single most rarest, most coveted ebay-bound item in existence! :lol At any rate, just glue it and save yourself the grief. 2) Yes. The number one rule is that if you can't get it off or out, then it's a screw or pin that you can't easilly see. I'd take a closer look under that hood, but from experience, I think it's another screw. 3) Don't worry; just keep it here. This thread is for JUST this kind of thing, general or specific! BTW, thanks for the compliment, but I can't take all (or even MOST) of the credit: a lot of dedicated folks have posted (and continue to post) valuable info and tips here. All the same thank you for the compliment! We certainly try our best here; so don't be afraid to ask for help! Good luck on your project! :thumb! -WV
  2. Still looking for Cybertron Primus (probably isn't out yet), but I finally got Exillon yesterday. (Hot Shot repaint)
  3. I'll bet everyone's been waitiong for a new installation to this since...well... forever! The Idiot's Guide to Kitbashing 10: Working with Transparent Plastics. Ahhh...transparent plastic; this one gives everyone I know the willies, and then some. I've touched upon this on many of the previous installments (NO, NOT TOOTHPASTE AGAIN WV!!! FOR THE LOVE OF PRIMUS!!!), but not in the depth that I would really like to. Working with transparent plastic is more than merely keeping scuffmarks off it and cracks out of it. Utilized correctly, it can add a special flair to your kitbash; when used wrong, look like the guest of honor at a 50 car pileup!!! Right, to work then: MATERIAL SPECIFICS: Most of the clear plastics we use fall into one of 3 recognizable categories- 1) Styrene: this form is what we see in CD jewel cases and model kits. Very notorious for it's susceptibility to cracking, scuffing, melting by model glue, and just plain breakage. It's the easiest to mold using heat, but a royal pain just to try to glue in place! It's weakness is due to the fact that the platric is "pure": that is , no colors, dyes or tints. because of this, it's crystal clear, but weak as all hell. 2) Plexiglas/Acrylates: this stuff is by far stronger, but a lot of work just to shape. It's harder, which is a plus. This hardness is also a detractor when using a dremel too. (not to mention the horrid smell it gives off when being cut or sanded with said dremel tool!) 3) "Soft" transparent plastics: this variety is the kind TF Cybertron Red alert's windshields and G1 toys' clear parts are made from( among others) NOt as susceptible to cracking, but once damaged, almost impossible to ever resurface (even with toothpaste!) 4) Resins/Epoxies: using chemicaly-created plastics to render transparent parts. works okay for translucent parts, will not usually render crystal-clear items. In my kitbashes, I'll usually use one of the first two in constructing clear parts. Number three is just too much to even try considering, unless it composes an unremovable vital part of the 'bash. TECHNIQUES: 1) Vaccu-forming: this process involves using a vaccuum table to force heated plastic into shape via suction. works well on convex items; concave items suffer greatly in the process. Namely used for aircraft canopies. The said vaccuum table can be expensive, but Finescale Modeller magazine had an article a few years back on how to build one from scratch for under 80 bucks. 2) "Heat and smash" : this involves heating a sheet of transparent plastic (usually styrene) until it's almost beginning to melt, then pulling it down ("smashing") over a convex mold. usefull for canopies and other such parts, but it wastes a lot of plastic. 3) Conventional molding: this involves usuing a highly-polished mold to cast the parts. unavailable to most modellers due to cost of molding and air-cleaning equipment. For most of the Kitbashers here, I recommend the first two procedures; number three is just impractical on many levels, although a company at CultTVman.com called Don's Light and Magic (DLM) casts clear parts for star wars/star trek models. Additionally, infor on using resins and molds can be found at starshipmodeler.com, but I am not familiar with these processes. At any rate, a few things to keep in mind when using these specific plastics: 1) Kid-Gloves: Especially with the styrene-based parts. Transparent parts, by their nature, show cracks, scratches, and imperfection far more readily than their solid counterparts. and in trhe same vein, they are much harder to repair. (although I am trying new techniques, will publish soon!) But in hindsight, it is just far easier to be careful in the first place, and not rush a careful job just to get the project done early. 2) Test-fit and refit often: Even more so than "solids', clear plastics must fit as perfect as possible BEFORE final assembly. Once in, unless you can pull off a trick or two and hide the imperfections along the edge, a misshapen or damaged parts is extremely hard to "re-engineer" once it's attached permanently. it's just easier to keep test-fitting it and removing material in slight degrees: you can always remove more, but you can't add once it's gone! 3) Polsih, polish, polish: final polishing should be done after final assembly, during the pre-paint phase. After that, you shouldn't see the plastic again until you remove the masking. Anything other than that (unusual circumstances excluded), and you're asking for kitbashing grief. Well, that's the low-down on this session: as always, any questions, comments or suggestions, please feel free to post them here! WV out!!!
  4. Exactly. Only use it for parts that are clear, like windows and canopies. I would look into ABS plastics as well, since most vcrs, game system cases and other electronic items are made of it. Try looking for junked electronic items and such. They're readily avcailable, and abs plastic is a bit more durable than styrene.
  5. Rodimus: use toothpaste to polish the windshield. Different plastics react differently to clearcoat. some of the soft clear plastics, like those used on Cybertron red alert, will frost when hit with clearcoat. Others, like clear polystyrene, will take it well. Personally, i would use futer floor acryllic as a clearcoat for most clear plastics.
  6. simple: toothpaste. I use toothpaste to polish clear plastic, so it shouldn't harm the plastic you're using. The process for real shiny plastic is to use increasingly fine grades of sandpaper, then 0000 steel wool, then toothpaste. Then, if you want a knock-em dead shine, use future floor acrylic as the final touch. NOTE TO TFans KBers: I'm in the process of moving, so don't panic if I'm not around for a while. I'll be back on regularly soon! -WV
  7. No problem. BTW, don't get nervous about doing reshells; just take it slow, and if you get stuck or don'yt know how to proceed, just ask us here at IGTKB. We're here to help! :thumb -WV
  8. Well, I'm currently doing a re-shell myself, and let me tell you: in this case, size DOES matter. You see, the expression 1:25 is actually a fraction. It means that the model is 1/25th the size of the original. This goes for all models (a 1:1 , for example, would mean that the model is the exact scale of the original, while 1:4 would denote it is a quarter of the original's size.) Now, with some things, the difference between a 1:24 and a 1:25 wouldn't really matter. But in re-shelling, a millimeter is all the difference needed to make a transform malfunction or bind up. Keep in mind: the smaller the scond number, the larger the model. I would go with a 1:24 myself, Blu3_sTr3ak-30. As for model brand choice, that depends upon who you use. Revel, monogram and ertl have models with fairly heavy plastic, while tamiya is more about detail. (Generally, tamiya's models have better detailing than the american comanies.) But, tamiya's thinner plastic also presents breakage problems during construction. So, if yo plan on using Tamiya's models, just be a little more carefull during the 'bashing process. One pice of advice: when reshelling, test fit the parts CONSTANTLY during the process, especially when you're grinding down or cutting away the original's surface. This will avoid you removing too much or removing vital structural parts that hold parts together. Also, PLAN, PLAN, PLAN!!! Do drawings (however cruddy they may be [j/k] :lol) of what you want to do. And don't be afraid to make changes during the process; not everything goes according to plan. Well, that's all I can think of for now. If you need any more advice or help, just post here or shoot me a PM. Good luck with this one, Blu3_sTr3ak-30. I want to see pics!!! :thumb -WV
  9. Krylon paints are what I use for my projects, and they ROCK. they dry fast, can be recoated at any time, and are very durable. UPDATE ON MP PRIME's PINS: the pin runs from ONE side of the waist to the OTHER!!!! Put a small nail punch in one side, and tap it with a hammer. it should come out on the OTHER side of prime's waist. I came across this examining my MP prime. then just remove the pins in the side panels on his waist. BTW, TM Megatron: for lightsabers, There are several FAQ's on the net that explain how to put in your own electroluminescent lightsaber blades. the materials are fairly cheap, but you'll have to poke around a bit to find the FAQ. try the jedi council forums (google the name) to find their faq on it.
  10. are you keeping the alt part that you are working on secured, or are you holding it while you hold the iron? If you are holding it, try putting it down on a table or a hard work surfacce. That way, you can concentrate on keeping the end on the pin. As for the heating time, it's likely that you're not heating it enough. Try heating the pin for about 25 seconds, and then increasing the time in 5 second intervals, until you can safely remove the pin. In fact, you may want to test this out on a spare pinned part to get the feel for pin removal. As for that nick, don't worry. Prime has nicks all over him, and who's going to notice one more? :lol Seriously, it won't really matter. But truth be told, you might have to nip off part of the plastic surrounding the hinge (about 1/16 of an inch) and use a pair of needle-nose pliers to pull the pin out. It's not the best technique, mind you, but it may be the only option left. I previously recommended drilling, but now that I think of it, it may not be for the best after all. I'll have to take another look at my MP prime to see. -WV
  11. LoC, Huh? At that scale, all you would need is a piece of plastic from a CD jewelbox. Just heat it ( a propane torch or gas oven burner should soften it enough.), and form it to shape. A technique I use for aircraft canopies is the "heat and smash " method I learned off of starship modeler: first, make a mold of the part you need from wood., shaping it to take into account. Then, you heat a sheet of clear plastic in the oven at about 150 or so, for a couple of minutes, or until the plastic just begins to sag. then, using oven mitts, you "smash" or pull the plastic down over the mold, and let cool. Then just trim to shape and glue on/in. I don't know if this would work for your project, freedomgundam, but it works on larger projects. Just keep in mind that CD jewelbox cases are clear polystyrene, and crack easily. -WV
  12. 1) it depends upon the shape you are trying to cut out. for straight lines, i find that an xacto knife and a metal straight-edge are really all that's required. it's really more about technique than anything. just score the plastic deeply, then put it over the edge of a table, with the cut line directly on the edge, ans snap the edge of the plastic down. presto! a clean line. for other shapes, i reccommend a template. 2) i really don't know about any rendering programs for that. most of my planning is with good old paper and pencil. Kitbashers: anyone out there with an answer to this?
  13. 1) use krylon fusion to repaint it. 2) wash the car body and all parts to be painted in soap and warm water. let air dry, then follow the instructions on the can label. use light passes of the spray can, and 'build' the color, rather than trying to paint it all in one pass (remember, this isn't lawn furniture we're painting here! :D ) 3) let it dry COMPLETELY before touching it. most paint jobs are ruined by premature curiosity. hope this helps.
  14. Always happy to help, JOP. When you get to it, let me know how it goes.
  15. Wal-mart should have a moderately-priced soldering iron for you. as for the technique to remove them, here's a link for you: http://www.TFans.com/talk/index.php?showto...ndpost&p=319698 this should help you out.
  16. I understand; the textured end appears to be covered in a 'spikey' pattern that is slightly larger than the receiving pinhole, thus holding the entire assembly in place. Makes sense to me. ^_^ My curious thinking is that if you took a powerful enough electromagnet, you could attach it to the rough end of the pin, and use that force to hold the pin in place whilst one pulled the surrounding plastic off of it. So basically, instead of pushing the pin out, you'd be pulling it out. ^_^ Mind you, this is just idle theory and not something I can try out any time soon, not to mention the posibility that (a) no home-version electromagnet strong enough exists or (b) it does but the procedure would fail as the electromagnetic field would attract all other metal components. Like I said, idle theory. I think of whacky stuff like this. ^____^ As for the MP, I'm looking to find a heat iron small enough to heat the ends of the pins without touching up against the plastic itself; all suggestions welcome. ^_^ Bloody heck; considering the amount these things cost, one would rather hope that they wouldn't neccesitate such repairs simply because the joint got rotated a couple of times. ^_^ Again, kudos to you lot, you are great people. ^___^ <{POST_SNAPBACK}> Yeah. good thinking, but there's not enough of the metal near the end for an electromagnet to get a good purchase on. Also, the spikes would tend to retain it in place. As for theories, that's how all kitbashing procedures and ideas start out! :thumb But yeah, for the price, I have an MP Convoy myself) you'd think they'd be a little sturdier than that. The one I have needed knee surgery! :lol And thanks for the compliment. We really try hard to help out here.
  17. That's what we're here for at the Idiot's Guide, JOP. I don't think of anyone as an idiot, and we all had to start out somewhere in this craft. Besides, Has/Tak doesn't exactly make our hobby easy on us, and we need all the help we can get. So if one of us has an idea on what to do, I think it's our duty to everyone else to share it with them. As for the magnet idea, I don't really think that will work. Rodimus is correct; the pins are knurled on the ends, and won't come out sans physical force or heating. I'm going to ask a couple of friends about this, so if i find out anything else, you'll be the first to know.
  18. okay, I got this one gang. :thumb The screws at the top are only for the ratchet sections of prime's ipper thighs. Don't touch those: I learned from experience that doing so is an excrutiating adventure in reassembling the near-impossible. (and a potential cause of suicide! ) To diassemble prime's waist is a task indeed. i don't think HasTak intended prime's waist unit to ever be DISassembled. But to do so, all you needto do is remove the pins located on the flaps of the sides of prime's waist. To do so, you need to drill a small hole where the pin is hidden behind on the front and rear flaps. (this is the best I can come up with, but if anyone's got a solution, then please, BY ALL MEANS SPEAK UP!!!) The holes shouldn't be too noticeable, hopefully. Once done, either drive out the pins with a small nail-punch, or use DLP's method of heating the pins carefully with a soldering iron, then extracting them carefully. Then it's a matter of unscrewing the screw at the rear of prime's waist, and exposing the internal mechanism. i strongly suspect that either the spring for the ratchet mechanism slipped off it's retainer, ot one of the "cam arms" for the ratchet either slipped or broke off. Either way, it should be a fiarly easy fix to accomplish, once the waist is taken apart. Then it's a simple matter of reassembling the waist, just keep in mind to not lose any of the pins, and to take your time in reassembling prime's waist. Good Luck JOP! I'm pulling for you on this one! :thumb -WV
  19. Okay, I know this one has been a long time in coming. The Idiot's Guide To Kitbashing Special: A word on kitbashing G1 masterpieces. Now, recently, there's been a lot of discussion about MP Megatron from G1. And as everyone knows, I'm still struggling with MP Devastator, who's STILL in the desing phases. Well, this is to address the issue of building Mp kitbashes, so hang on kids!!! First off, a necessary concession in building ANY G1 masterpiece version is that despite our best efforts, it is almost impossible to build a cartoon-accurate replica that transforms without making a few concessions on something. The dreaded "mass-shifting" that is often involved in the G! cartoons has plagued many of us for a while, and is quite possibly the reason why Hastak only issued 2 MP transformers. The logistics involved in not only getting a proportionate replica that transforms is hard enough, but when the factor of adding in cartoon accuracy is introduced, a whole new world of design woes comes into play. Now, I'm not saying that it is utterly impossible to accomplish this, but we need to realize that the original designers of the G1 line never intended their creations to be animated with such liberties taken by the animators. With G1 megatron, FOR EXAMPLE, the toy is radically different from the cartoon version. in fact, i'm willing to bet that the animators never intended a working transform to be designed for it in the real world, rationalizing that at that size, megatron would have enough internal room and technology to do whatever they thought what even remotely feasible. With all this in mind, we need to keep a couple of things in mind in the design of these projects; 1) It doesn't have to transform EXACTLY the way it did as the toy or on tv! : Too many folks get all bent out of shape if it doesn't " bend like that" on the original, and ect. But honestly, some concepts of transforms are IMPOSSIBLE with all factors involved. Megatron alone is a nightmare of logistics that would cause the design crew at JPL to all commit suicide with the nearest sharp insrument!!! So if we can't get him 100% transform accurate, well, we did our best. 2) Take what you can get: We are all looking for the perfect replica of our favorites. But often, that's not going to happen. Sometimes, minor details are going to have to be ommited in favor of the overall look. And if that means that a certain panel isn't there, or a little doodad or doohickey is missing, I'm VERY sure the universe won't come to a complete stop and the planets all go flinging off itno the cold, merciless void. :P It doesn't mean by any means that we stop trying; we may well find a way that accomplishes all that we looking for. but a realistic view is needed here. "Mass-shifting (the bane of TFans' everywhere :D ) has doen more in the old G1 cartoon to screw-up any would-be cartoon-accurate G1 kitbash than virtually anything else in the world of moving parts! So, we need to keep in mind that there is only so much twe can do to fix this. on that note, a few suggestions: 1) Don't try to replicate the transform exactly: you probably won't get it 100% right. instead try to maintain the "look' in both robot and vehicle/ Alt mode. Keep the GENERAL transform, but be willing to change a few things if they need it. 2) Don't be afraid to take a chance: we often try to stick with what is "safe.' this can linit us to only so many combinations that will inevitably result in an impasse that we can't get around. Remember; transformers themselves are a risk; nobody thought in the beginning that they were a "sure thing!" 3) Don't try to get evry detail down: as previously mentioned, not everything needs to appear the exact way it does in the cartoon. Some things are going to inevitably need changing. So, in short, I don't want anyone to be afraid to attempt the hard stuff, like Megartron's gun mode in a MP style format. Just keep in mind that we're working on a scale that doesn't allow for as many ammenities as the "real' Megatron would have. So, that's all i have for now. I should have the pics to Hunter soon, so ahng tight everyone. As always, any questions or comments, PM me or post them here. As for MP Devvy, i'm workin' on it, i'm workin' on it....
  20. Nope you need to use a cutting disc. Those little cutting discs can cut through almost anything. I used them for cutting appart my diecast Dodge Ram to build my BT Rodimus Prime. Make sure you don`t drop the Dremel on the floor while the disc is attatched. It won`t hurt the Dremel but you`ll have to take the screw out and put another disc on which is kind of annoying. Good luck on your project. <{POST_SNAPBACK}> Rodimus is right; be VERY careful. Those discs are a bit brittle, and with good reason: instyead of possibly getting stuck and injuring you by burning out the rotary tool or "riding" out of the cutting groove, they are designed to shatter apart. For this reason, eye protectin is CRUCIAL. Also, I've seen rotary tool attachments that look like minature circular-saw blades. NEVER USE THESE. They are NOT made by the tool companies that make the rotary tools, they are an aftermarket item that is VERY dangerous. The saw blades can come loose and literally fly off the mandrel, sending them right into you. Stick with official dremel tool accesories. BTW, when cutting metal,: 1) Use the heavier fiberglass-reinforced cutting discs. They are specially designed for this task, and are less apt to shatter; 2) Take your time cutting the metal. It's a harder substance than plastic, and the chance that the cutting blade can skip out of the groove and cut you is greater. The cardinal rule of using any roary tool is: LET THE TOOL DO THE WORK. Unncessary force will result in either tool burnout and/or possible injury to you. Finally, 3) Use proper ventilation, and wear a dust mask. Fine metal particles can either cause or aggravate breathing problems, not to mention the smell heated metal will give off during the friction of the cutting process. Also, wear a heavy pair of work gloves to protect your hands from the heat and possible injury (tool skipping, sharp metal edges.), and it's not a bad idea to use a small vise to keep the project steady so you can use both hands to guide the cutting wheel. Overall, I hope this helps you out primusq001. Also, thanks to Rodimus VTS for his input! :thumb -WV
  21. Thanks Rodimus VTS. Sometimes I can't get online, and it really annoys me.
  22. Okay; examine the plastic on the toy. Is it hard plastic, ot soft? The softer plastics tend to be a royal pain to use krylon on, even though it says on the can that it can be used on vinyl aond softer plastics. Also, was the plastic cleaned properly before you sprayed? If mold release is on there, or the plastic is a bit oily, the finish may become sticky. There's one of two things I can suggest: eityher strip the finish off the plastic, or try spraying krylon kristal kote (also by krylon) on it to seal it. I'm also going to ask anyone out there if they have run into this as well, and if they have any tips or info on this.
  23. Okay. First off, if at all possible, don't use just styrene for structural parts if you're doing any kind of scratch fabrication. (you know, making new legs from scratch.) The reason why is that styrene isn't very strong as a plastic when it comes to weight, and doesn't have a lot of durability. That being said, try using ABS plastic for it. (PS2 cabinets and old tv cases are made of it, and it's also available through better hobby shops.) But styrene is excellent for making details on parts and surfacing the scratchbuilt parts with. It scribes easily (you can make panel lines in it using an xacto knife.), and cuts fairly easily too. As for making duplicate pieces, there are a number of ways. You can try vacuu-forming, but you need a machine for that. Alumilite makes a system that you can use room-temperature vulcanizing rubber to make a mold, then cast as many parts as you need using alumilite resin. It's good, but not exactly cheap. Try this site for molding/casting info: http://www.starshipmodeler.com It should have a section on molding and casting parts. Hope this helps you, spartanwarrior! Good luck. :thumb -WV
  24. Spartanwarrior (you like Halo 2 as well, huh? :thumb) The difference between translucent paint and normal paint is that translucent paint allows light to pass through it ("trans"=through, "lucent" = light.) Put simply, the paint allows light to pass through it, bounce off of the surface underneath, and pass back through the paint. it allows artists to create effects on white canvasses that are breathtaking, like watercolors for example. It is also used to "optically mix" colors by applying two or more translucent paints to a surface, and the light passing through them both creates the color. (also known as "broken color" in painting. Translucent paints are best used for effects where you want something to look like it has a bit of a glow to it, like eyes on robots or an energy weapon. The best procedure for this is to use a base of chrome silver or gold plate paint underneath the translucent layer, the apply the translucent paint on top. Don't confuse translucent with transparent, as trtansparent paints allow a lot more light to pass through. BTW; I would be very careful lighting the head of any transformer, as if you're not careful with the light, it can melt the plastic immediately around the light. Use LEDs or something that doesn't get hot quick. And you might want to go with transparent paints if the paint is going to be over the eyes, depending upon the effect you're going for. Maybe if you tell me a bit more about what your project entails, I can help you out with what I know. :) -WV I hope this helps you out, spartanwarrior. If you need any more advice or tips, either post here or shoot me a PM. Good luck on your project!
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